Exploring Canine Assisted Intervention (CAI) as an Adjunct in Child Trauma Therapy to Encourage Success and Completion of Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

No Thumbnail Available
Issue Date
Bradley, Melanie
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This paper entails an in-depth analysis of 12 quantitative peer-reviewed studies to examine the potential for Canine Assisted Intervention (CAI) as an adjunct therapy for children suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). More than half of all children, under the age of 12, will be exposed to some sort of trauma in their youth, and up to 30% of these children will develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Cervin et al., 2021). There are interventions specifically utilized in helping this population but due to many factors up to 77 % of families, in trauma therapies, end treatment prematurely (Wamser-Nanney, 2020a). The inclusion of a trained canine is increasing in acceptability to be used as an adjunct in trauma therapies (Dravsnik et al., 2018). Canines have the potential to provide a level of comfort to help children engage in and continue with these much-needed therapeutic interventions by helping to reduce anxiety, paranoia, and irritability by using tactile stimulation, nudging, pawing, or simply through patting or touch (Lloyd et al., 2019). Animals could potentially introduce a relationship dynamic that may be absent from the traditional child/therapist dyad which has been found to enhance the child's feelings of purpose and mastery (Dravsnik et al., 2018).
PTSD , children , AAI , dogs , canine assisted therapy , post-traumatic stress disorder , trauma focused therapies